Re: Catholicism and Lord of the Rings
- --- Alana Joli Abbott wrote ---
Borrowing tropes from Norse mythology particularly
seems a natural thing for Tolkien to do in a pre-Christian
(yet prepared for Christianity) world.<end quote>
Just a small caveat here, usually forgotten: keep in mind that almost every scrap of extant Scandinavian literature, and certainly the better-known mythological texts in the Eddas, *postdate* the conversion of Scandinavia to Christianity, often by as much as several centuries. The Eddic poems preserved in the Codex Regius must have been based on earlier texts, now lost, but even the earlier lost texts may not have antedated Christianity in Scandinavia. It's impossible to know just how much or how well the pagan elements of early Nordic mythology have been preserved, or to what extent Christianity may have tranformed them. One example: in the Hávamál, Odin is hung from the World Tree, pierced by a spear, in an image often compared to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; but does the Norse story predate Christianity, or was it in fact directly influenced by the Gospels? It may well have been. So one must tread carefully when drawing conclusions about
pre-Christian Norse mythology.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Luthien: Alas! My beloved has perished! I must go to the Halls of Mandos to beg --
Beren: I'm not dead yet.
Luthien: Shh! To beg Mandos to bring him back --
Beren: I don't want to go on the cart.
Luthien: Shut up! I'm having a dramatic moment here.
Beren: I feel happy...
Luthien: (Nods to nearest elf with big club)
Big Club: Thud.
Luthien: Okay, I'm off to the Halls of Mandos. See ya. (Falls down)
>From: John Davis <john@...>________________________________________
>Sent: Jun 15, 2009 3:48 AM
>Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Catholicism and Lord of the Rings
>Perhaps he was just mostly dead.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: scribbler@...
> To: email@example.com
> Sent: Friday, June 12, 2009 4:40 PM
> Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Catholicism and Lord of the Rings
> > I've always wondered -- was Beren really dead? Or was he merely so close
> > to death that no one around could tell the difference? Was he really
> > resurrected, or simply revived?
> > If the Gift of Men is beyond even the Valar's understanding, it doesn't
> > make sense that Mandos would have the power to give Beren back his life,
> > no matter how persuasively Luthien sang.
> > emerdavid
> Well, it would seem incongruous that Mandos himself would not be able to
> distinguish between a "nearly dead" mortal soul and a "dead" one. Mandos
> is made anxious about the situation because Beren WILL NOT GO ON the way
> he is supposed to.
> It seems to me, that Beren's soul held onto the world to an unexpected
> degree, instead of passing out of the world. If he had passed out of the
> world, then I agree, Luthien's singing would have been tragic in that it
> would be to no point -- Beren would not be *there* to be returned. But
> that's not what Tolkien sets as the situation. He has Beren "hanging
> around" unexpectedly.
> I say - Beren was dead, but not "departed". A unique situation that the
> Valar could actually address.
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